New IT Ordinance Approved
The salary ordinance for a “Manager 1 of Information Processing” now carries a range of $70,000 to $110,000, down $20,000 from a previous ordinance that never saw final passage. The measure passed on first reading Monday and will be up for second reading and final passage on Sept. 14.
City Administrator Marc Dashield said a recent phone outage at City Hall was not the reason for bringing back the ordinance, noting he had made a presentation on the need months ago. The city converted to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system that failed for nearly a week.
Speakers Monday objected to the vote for several reasons, one being the appearance of the ordinance as a new item without having been discussed at the Aug. 10 agenda-fixing session. Another concern was that the IT director was being proposed before parameters were set for a new IT division.
Dr. Harold Yood agreed on the need for a director, but said the division should be created first. Dashield said the ordinance was “not reactive” and so did Councilwoman Annie McWilliams, a member of the council’s Information technology subcommittee.
“The administration and council have found common ground on something that will work for the city,” McWilliams said.
City Council President Rashid Burney, also a member of the IT committee, said the new ordinance was just the latest version of proposed legislation going back to May.
“At this point, I am comfortable with this,” he said.
The administration had pushed for passage of the previous ordinance within the budget year that ended June 30. Dashield said Monday the full cost of an IT division could run to $250,000. The administration plans to combine its present communications functions, including operation of the local TV channel, under the IT director.
Resident Jeanette Criscione said she didn’t think communications should go under IT, as a different “skill set” was involved, but said she “thrilled” that the city was moving forward with information technology.
Resident Gayle Jones asked how the proposed division would relate to a newly-formed citizens’ IT committee.
“It doesn’t,” Burney said, calling the 10-member citizens’ IT group a “review committee.”
Burney said the IT committee could have as many as 14 people and invited anyone interested to apply.
Last year, the council had a citizens’ budget advisory committee. A new one has 11 members to review the FY 2010 budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. In addition, the council approved formation of a 15-member economic growth committee. Members are Andrea Kee, Cleveland Burton Jr., Marie Pase, Joylette Mills-Ransome, Vivette Abdel-Montes, William Hetfield, Jeffery Dunn, Peter Faynzilberg, Shanda Laws, Thomas Glynn, Sean Hendriques, John Vignoe, Franklin Madison, Dr. Harold Yood and Natasha Boone.